The 50-member Sufi group will be headed by Abida Parveen in the festival.&mdash
The 50-member Sufi group will be headed by Abida Parveen in the festival.—File photo
NEW YORK Folk artistes from the four provinces of Pakistan will be part of an ensemble at the First New York Sufi Festival and will have their first public performance at New York's Union Square Park.

The 50-member Sufi group headed by the Pakistani legend Abida Parveen will include Akhtar Channel Zehri from Balochistan, the Soung Faqirs from Sindh and Zeb & Haniya with their contemporary interpretation of Sufi music drawing from their Pakhtun heritage.

The Sufi festival is being held in the aftermath of Times Square attempted terrorist attack which has undermined Pakistan-American relations.

It is an effort to present the softer side of Pakistan and to repair country's tarnished image.

The highlight of the festival will be a free, public performance with several ensembles at Union Square Park on July 20. Associated partners, the Asia Society and Rubin Museum, will host events of their own. An “unplugged” concert by younger performers will also be held at the Rubin Museum as part of their Spiral Music Series on July 21.

Announcing the festival at a press conference, Pakistan's UN Ambassador Abdullah Husain Haroon said “Individual acts or the violence espoused by any minority cannot be allowed to define us all. We need to urgently give voice to the true Pakistan by showing our peaceful human face and culture to demonstrate the tolerant moderate Islam practised by the overwhelming majority.”